Christa Guenther knew running a pet boarding business would be physically demanding. But when she and her husband Jim bought Wagging Tail Ranch, in Elk Mound, WI five years ago, the 58-year old grandmother didn't expect to log 40-60 miles a week on her pedometer. Not surprisingly, some of those miles, and the elbow grease that came with them, were from cleaning.
'It's constant,' she says of a schedule that includes daily maintenance tasks, weekly deep cleans and tending to emergency messes. 'We used mops, sponges and buckets to clean and rinse. It was time consuming and physically draining.'
The kennel's design made the process even more challenging. At 3,000-square-feet, the facility includes outdoor play areas that get wet and muddy and an indoor mix of runs, bunks and suites. A mix of concrete and tile-and-grout flooring throughout is robust enough to handle heavy foot-and-paw traffic, but hard to clean completely. Even worse, the seven luxury suites didn't come equipped with floor drains making maintenance even more complicated.
Guenther and her staff did what they could, but she was never fully satisfied with the results. She even bought a few power washers, but the water pressure in her country location wasn't strong enough to get good results. In frustration Guenther reached out to a friend who works at a Kwik Trip convenience store. 'I noticed that her store's restroom was always much cleaner than any other convenience store restroom I'd experienced.'
That's when Guenter learned about Kaivac.
After seeing an in-person demonstration of Kaivac's cleaning power and capabilities, she knew she needed a Spray-and-Vac right away. In the two and a half years since purchasing the machine, the Spray-and-Vac made every cleaning job at Wagging Tail Ranch faster, easier and more complete.
Deep cleans now take a few hours instead of a full day. Tracked in water, ice and mud are removed quickly leaving floors safe and dry. Emergency messes—yes, they happen and yes, they can be awful as you are imagining--are easily cleaned. Without giving too much detail, Guenter recalls dealing with one suite that was especially challenging. 'I only felt confident putting another dog in there after cleaning with Kaivac.'
A self-described 'all-natural girl,' Guenter prefers using the Spray-and-Vac with just plain water and Dr. Bronner's for touch ups, but will use KaiBosh Disinfectant as needed; like if there is a case of kennel cough going around the area. 'I like that I can rinse the solution away completely,' she says. 'Dogs sometimes eat off the floor and lick the fencing and I want to be sure they are not ingesting any chemicals.'
Guenter even showcases her Spray-and-Vac when giving tours to perspective customers. She finds that having a top-rated cleaning machine sets her business apart. 'People always ask how we clean. After seeing the Kaivac they are more confident in the business.'
And Guenter, who now logs a respectable 20 to 40 miles a week on her pedometer, can spend less time cleaning and more time doing other vital dog-care activities…like petting, playing and putting pit bulls in pajamas.
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.